Happy Free Comic Book Day! Yes, it's true, today is Free Comic Book Day. I'm not exactly sure as to why today is Free Comic Book Day but I know it to be true because my son, who lives in Pennsylvania is celebrating Free Comic Book Day today at his comic book store. I had planned on getting more information from him before posting today but alas, he's been much to busy. Maybe, next year:) How 'bout we share some Comic Book day recipes. Sounds good to me...
It isn't like we haven't "spoken" of comic books @ Months of Edible Celebrations before. Why just last November I posted a few recipes for Sadie Hawkins Day and more recipes in February for Leap Year. As a matter of fact, if you would rather not visit those previous pages, you can view them in my Cartoonist Cookbook photo album. There are recipes from Al Capp and Mammy Yokum. The Mammy Yokum recipes are from a vintage Cream of Wheat recipe booklet. And, we can't forget about Popeye! We posted a James Beard cartoon when we celebrated Popeye's debut in January. BTW, James Beard's birthdate is May 5th. Good Lord willing and the creek don't freeze, I'll be posting recipes and another cartoon to celebrate. Okay, back to Comic Book Day.
The Cartoonist Cookbook
The list of contributors in The Cartoonist Cookbook ranges from Neal Adams creator of Ben Casey to Bill Yates creator of Professor Phumble. Lank Leonard responsible for Mickey Finn, created in 1936, is also one of the recipe contributors. Quite honestly, the edition in my collection appears rather unassuming. I often forget I have it. I wonder what the dust jacket looked like? We all know that expression about books and covers and certainly, it applies here. The book, published in 1966 by Gramercy Publishing Co. is described as "A gathering by the Newspaper Comics Council," It was edited by Theodora Illenberger and Avonne Eyre Keller, with a foreword by Stephen Becker, and an introduction by James Beard. With the exception of James Beard, Al Capp, and Charles Schultz, none of the contributors are familar to me. While researching Charles Schultz for his birthday page, I learned that as a boy, Charles Schultz (Schulz) was quite interested in comics, especially Popeye. The madcap adventures of the struggling artist are not only reflected in this book by their recipes but, also in their comic interpretations. Al Vermeer, creator of Priscilla's Pop reveals one if his favorite stops on Highway 49 near Placerville. During his visit, he states, "Nothing seemed more inviting than fresh oysters and fresh eggs." He also adds, "At one time, for reasons that Placerville would now happily forget, the town was called Hangtown." Below is his recipe for Hangtown Fry.
|12 fresh oysters|
1/2 tbs. flour
2 tbs. bacon drippings
|1 cup cream|
6 eggs, well beaten
salt & pepper
|Mince oysters. Mix flour, fat and cream into a sauce. Add eggs, season with salt and pepper and stir in the oysters. Fry very slowly. "If the business is done too dry, you will immediately be banished from California. To preface such a feast you are on your own. As for me, I'll take a shrimp cocktail for dessert, well, there is always some oddball who looks upon oysters with horror. His portion of the Hangtown Fry becomes my dessert." Serves 4|
I got the biggest kick out of the cartoon offered by Vernon Greene. As you can see, it's about one of my favorite things. Cookbooks! So without further ado, I present Vernon Greene's recipe for cornmeal dumplings. Here's a little "clip" first from the book.
Vernon Green was born in 1908 on a ranch at Battle Ground, Washington. His first job was doing sports cartoons and commercial art in Portland, Oregon. During the depression, he worked at the Toledo Blade until two thirds of the staff were laid off in 1932. After that he tried editorial cartooning; ghosted Polly And Her Pals; created The Shadow comic strip and spent three years in the Air Force, where he created Mac the Medic and Charlie Conscript. Greene's big break came when he met George McManus, creator of Bringing Up Father...When McManus became ill, he remembered Greene and called on him for help and when McManus died, Green took over the strip...
|1 cup corn meal|
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk
1 tbs. melted butter
5 or 6 cups corned beef stock
|Sift dry ingredients together. Beat eggs with milk and combine with dry ingredients. Stir in melted butter. Drop batter by tablespoons into simmering stock. Coverpan closely. Simmer 15 minutes. Remove from liquid at once. Makes apprximately 16 dumplings. Ed Note: I'm sure you could use any good stock for these dumplings.|
The final offering for Free Comic Book Day comes from DC Comics Super Heros, Super Healthy Cookbook by Mark Saltzman, Judy Garlan, & Michele Grodner copyright, 1981, this ed. 1993.
Well, this does it! It's now clear that my generation was sold a bill of good. They convinced us that good nutrition was dull, that eating healthy food meant giving up whatever tasted good and that cooking was sexist, life denying drudgery-to be avoided at all costs. Now DC Comics comes along with a cookbook like this one and shows it all up as a pack of lies...And while it isn't exactly accidnetal that the food this book is about is healthy and delicious, that's not the only reason to give Super Heros Super Healthy Cookbook houseroom...
Enjoy Free Comic Book Day!